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Us 24, Navy 6, New York 6, The Navy 5, Mr. Frelinghuysen 4, Mr. King 4, Mr. Pascrell 4, Sandy 3, Yaki 3, Mr. Mcclintock 3, New Jersey 3, America 3, Panetta 2, United States Air Force 2, Mr. Smith 2, Amtrak 2, Sullivan 2, Rogers 2, U.s. 2, Massachusetts 2,
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  CSPAN    Today in Washington    News/Business. News.  

    January 15, 2013
    6:00 - 9:00am EST  

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>> again, i appreciate everybody's concern with the process here but you put a situation with all these amendments were things would get messed up. last congress is any judge, this is a committee that had 77 restricted rules, and 55 closed rosato think anybody will have any problems for limiting the
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number of amendments year. but i would also say this about those who were talking about oversight, oversight, oversight. we have borrowed like $1.5 trillion for wars and iraq and afghanistan. and have argued have not been given oversight. and time and time and time again we tried of an miniature called for more oversight. we don't get them allowed. i mean, i which is to say these are people in our country who are hurting and they need money now. and i think you have done a very good job of scrubbing what the requests are to make sure that this is all needed. there will be future oversight as the funds are given out. but i will also say it's hard to do the kind of recovery in a piecemeal fashion. people need to know that the money is going to be there, need to plan accordingly, and so we need to step up and do this. we should have done it before the last congress adjourned. we have the opportunity now.
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look forward to voting for your amendment. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank my friend for the amendment as well and for his hard work on this. i know how much time you have put in on this, not only helped put together the package but reach out to members and answering their questions, explaining the needs firsthand. and it's very helpful. i have two specific things i'd like you to address. you gave us some really i think terrifically revealing set of statistics on how serious this is, the scope of the. i don't think this is for whatever reason gotten quite the visual play that katrina got. so it's harder sometimes to understand, and a lot of time it's less visible. it's understood -- underground. i saw a photograph showing the top of a subway station that went eight stories down that was flooded, eight stories. you can't see that but that's pretty staggering when you think about that and the amount of electrical cable and all the
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things that are, but i think there is a misunderstanding of how much money in addition to what you were asking the states of new york and new jersey, and it's not as if they are making enormous investments themselves. you never get a disaster that the federal government comes anywhere close to being 100% up, so if you getting information on that it would be helpful. >> new york and new jersey is not waiting. they may be limited in their budgetary resources, but there's something meaty things they are addressing but the substantial expensive ones which you refer to, the depth of some of these tunnels, electrical systems that support the city, new york city size as well as obvious that those who come across the hudson each and every day, it's too expensive for the local or city budget. >> the second question i would ask is related, and that's well
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and good to talk about, and would do. we try to be, appropriate to the need as needed, but on projects of this size being able to make long-term decisions and commitments are pretty important, and funding sometimes means it's simply not going to be there. you can build half a bridge or restore have the tunnel once you begin the process. you have to know you're going to get to the end of it. can you give us just some examples or some insight as to how difficult it will be to plan going forward, if we are at 17 as opposed to essentially 50? >> i think he sort of made my case for me, but one thing we put into mr. rogers underlying bill and my amendment is to form a federal agencies to a port, to the appropriations process as to the progress that they have
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made. and they have to plan the use of the money. it's not just going to be doled out without any restraints. i think built into my amendment i think are a lot of milestones that have to be met by the department of transportation, department of housing and urban development, as well as our rail network, and track along the northeast corridor. we are not handing out money to amtrak that's unrelated to repairing things that occurred as a result. there was talk of that but we are not doing that. >> one last question, and again drawing on the katrina experience, in the, there we found we overshot the mark. we were able to go back, reclaim some of that money. i don't expect that necessarily in this particular instance but you never know. so i would ask you anything in your amendment that would prevent us at a later time if we
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saw, look, with over appropriate, people trying to estimate -- >> they would be nothing that would prevent us from going back in and taking money out that had not been spent, after a certain period of time, a year or two. i would suspect much of it would be obligated, but in cases if it's not obligated, we have the obligation to take back, the u use, taxpayers use or as the expression go, i believe it, we reduce the federal deficit. >> i thank the gentleman. i yield back, mr. chairman. >> i don't have any question. i support the gentleman's amendment over all. >> thank you very much. >> mr. woodall? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would ask the gentleman because i know he's speaking on behalf of the his constituents when you bring -- when he brings
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this amendment, but the size of this package, larger than many and how appropriation bills, $60 billion. that's larger than homeland security appropriations bill that mr. king authorizes. that's larger than the financial services appropriations bill. that's larger than the state department foreign operations appropriations bill, and these are all built with which this congress deliberates vermont's. hearing -- four months. he was committed to making sure your folks get those things that they need, hearing the priority that if one has laid out knowing that these are not optional things that are needed, these are mandatory things that are needed. these are items that new jersey and new york will absolutely bring to fruition. these tunnels are not going to be closed.
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they're going to be repaired. amtrak is not going to be closed. it's going to be repaired. realizing that so many members have concerns about making sure that they get your community every dollar that your community need, but they do it in a way that is the most responsible, does that chairman's commitment to deal with these issues as soon as the certifications come to him from your communities back home not satisfy -- >> the depth of the destruction is such that if we do move ahead with some to rebuild the infrastructure, i think new jersey's the most densely populous state in the nation, and certainly the manhattan borough's are probably, probably even more densely populated. you have a critical mass of people there, whose lives in many cases have been altered
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forever. businesses, you know, collapsed, and housing has been destroyed. we need to start the process. and in order to obligate or rebuild, we need to start a process that and we need to put enough money on the table to do it. >> knowing how will the appropriations committee works together, i'm certainly not trying to pit you against your chairman. i thought what i heard the chairman say is that the committee in its mark have provided dollars to all of the requests that had been certified, i see mr. king shaking his head. did i misunderstand? >> he had the initial tranche but i can assure you the appropriations staff went through -- in fact his appropriations staff drafted my amendment to assure the transparency of what we are doing, everything, every
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expenditure would be listed and transparent. and they scrubbed the bill to make sure that it was relevant to sandy. what concerns us is, and -- that's a lot of money has gone out the door for other disasters. somehow we are held to a higher standard. i think we often at the highest standards, but are build requests those high standards. it is fully transparent, and quite honestly i think it is entirely defensible. >> would you yield? >> the gentleman has not been recognized. the gentleman will -- has not been recognized. [inaudible] >> i would you say to the gentleman, his work is about being held to a different standard or absolutely compelling. i think of my friend from massachusetts every time -- i think i can often be the most
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frustrating and unconscionable of all. i want you to know from the deep south we are not beneficiaries in metro atlanta disaster funding. we hold your needs and the highest. >> i can say, and i'm sure i can't speak for the new york delegation, but governor crist has made a commitment. he's not, for this when he's going to make sure this money is well spent. none of it is wasted. much of the community, money will be going to the economic development authority. it's all going to be vetted. i think it will be very well taken care of. >> i yield back. >> i have an item to submit for the record, without objection. december 7, 2012 letter from -- [inaudible] >> and this is in reference to not the current -- mr. rodgers testimony who said the
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administration him why didn't the administration request watershed protection money. they did. that was interpreted by the senate, included in the senate bill. specifically $150 million to mitigate further flood risk. slightly under that request which is fine. it should meet the needs. a specific request on page three regarding -- i would like to submit those for the record and clarify that, in fact, it's very clear that this is something the administration supports and that was manifested in the senate bill with strong bipartisan support. >> without objection it will be part of the record. >> do you have further questions? >> i do not. >> mr. nugent. >> nothing. >> ms. webster? [inaudible] >> i'm sorry? >> passed the national capital and.
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>> any further questions for mr. frelinghuysen? mr. frelinghuysen, i will tell you that it is, it is the committee's perspective that we will have a fair and open process without poison pills, with the attributes of fairness that has been exemplified by this committee. we also want to send to you as we did, knowing that your backyard, we thank you for your representation, the way you dealt with this committee. and i want to thank you very much. >> thank you. >> the gentleman is now excuse. we will call on the next panel. please be advised that we are now on vote. it's my understanding we have one suspension vote that is taking place. this committee -- i'm sorry? on sir, we are now going three votes. okay. so hearing that, what i'd like to do before we call up this next panel, if i can, we're going to continue working.
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we have some 92 amendments to do with. as members choose to go and vote, we will let them do that. meaning that the committee may go and vote and come back and forth, and we're just going to keep flowing on through this process. i'd like to call it now the gentleman, mr. smith, chris smith, bill pascrell, tom mcclintock, mr. ginger find, and mr. king. mr. king, you are still here before us, may have left. [inaudible] to go vote. jim, let's get you up here. and mr. mcclintock, uranus. we could have you join in their also. we will now begin with the gentleman, mr. smith. you are recognized spent thank
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you very much, mr. chairman, and members of the committee. i do want to associate myself with remarks of mr. frelinghuysen my delegation is very strong bipartisan. it supports the amendment. he talks about 346,000 homes that have been destroyed. 22000 are uninhabitable. unbelievable. my district has not been affected just like so many others, so i again would ask that the committee make that amendment in order -- i do want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak about amendment 85 which would address a critical gap and overall assistance strategy of this vital important legislation. a substantial portion of the assistance provided during the time of the emergency and has continued has been by state based community. many americans give donations to their local synagogues and churches because they trust the
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money will be quickly and very well used to help those in need to in terms of -- victims often turn first to the local synagogues and churches for help. even though the houses of worship were themselves of early damage by superstorm sandy, they are not eligible under current fema regulations for funding. i believe this is wrong. it's a very serious oversight, and to support the amendment, i will support. the union of orthodox jewish congregations is in support of this amendment. they point out it's entirely appropriate, a program that provides private nonprofit assistance to the house of worship with the rebuilding needs. united states catholic conference has also endorsed the amendment and has made the point, you should glory, archbishop lori come a should be noted that in the aftermath of a natural disaster houses of worship often play an
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irreplaceable role to the recovery of the community. specifically the house of worship as ineligible for federal assistance in the wake of a national disaster. beyond being a legal violation hurts the very communities most affected by the indiscriminate force of nature. i would just point out again for the record that in new jersey alone, just the churches that have been devastated, some 145 churches have been damaged with a total of $19 million. this is a very simple fix. i thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. pascrell. >> thank you, mr. chairman. good luck. >> i'm going to need it. tell me that out on a baseball field, too. >> that's a different story here. [laughter] i'm pleased that we are finally going to bring this bill to the floor. the northeast communities have
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already waited far too long for this to be approved come almost 80 days and counting. as we flew in we saw the damage from above. it blew coverings for the homes that had been destroyed half, second, third floors gone. and we talk to the people, and it's good we talk to people in different regions. it might not only help us with catastrophes but a lot of other things. the northeast communities are waiting. my amendment is quite simple, country. i sent a amendment, most importantly it costs no additional money to the treasury. it provides governors with flexibility to provide additional grants, should they determine that it is in the interests of the state's recovery. the amendment removes the 30% gap in this film on the state's
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abilities to provide grants for principal forgiveness to communities receiving a loan from the state revolving fund. this will give states as much discretion and flexibly as possible. it will help struggling communities and stall measures, wastewater treatment plants. this is a serious problem in new jersey. these are necessary particular to disasters as well. even before, even before the super storm safety struck, many new jersey communities like patterson, newark, were struggling economically. the great recession put them further behind. now that these communities have gone through superstorm sandy, the challenges they face are doubled. let me give you an example. my district, the seward domitian plant serves 3 million new jerseyans. it's one order of the entire
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population of the state of new jersey. it's been severely damaged. it is not producing what it usually produces, raw sewage is moving into the waterways of new jersey as we speak. flooding occurred in the treatment plants titles and galleries. including the onside lavatory. throughout the entire plan, power laws -- [inaudible]. the estimated cost to restore the facility to restore the status is between 250-$300 million. mr. chairman, this is just several in new jersey of those regional authorities, utility authorities, that has been damaged. the estimates of each of the cost to repair each of those facilities is quite high. and i submit it in the record. i'm thankful that my friend, mr.
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frelinghuysen, has -- [inaudible] as i said to you, madam chair, there's no additional money from the treasury. it gives latitude and longitude as we say in new jersey, to the governors of each of the states that are affected. and i asked that his amendment be accepted as part of this hearing. thank you very much. >> thank you very much, mr. pascrell. >> thank you, madam chair. ranking member slaughter, members of the committee, i want to thank you for allowing me to testify today. i also like to recognize my cosponsors of the amendment then going to speak about, congresswoman. the imminent that we offer is a table. it strikes the language in the other and in which based on epa region to. in other words, new york/new jersey eligible for epa state title a system. and it replaces it with
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bipartisan senate passed language ensuring that all states that receive a major disaster regulation due to hurricanes and received a scratch but the amendment also ways air force veteran. since hurricanes and get our state in late october members of the -- across east coast have come together to demand the same treatment for our constituents as we have afforded to those the gulf coast following hurricane katrina. and to those in the west following listing wildfires. and to so many others, when disaster struck their community. all we ask is a timely appropriations of disaster assistance so that are states can begin the recovery process. time and again this congress has affirmed that when he disaster hits we are all in this together, and this time it should be no different. unfortunately, the language contained in the amendment makes only new york and new jersey eligible to receive these critical funds and fails to meet the stated.
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so it precludes my home state of rhode island as was connecticut, massachusetts and maryland, delaware and every other states which received the presidential disaster -- to help our communities recover and protect our nation's water resources. i request that you make this amendment in order so that all states affected by hurricanes and he may receive this critical funding. thank you and i yield back. >> thank you very much, mr. langevin. mr. mcclintock. >> thank you, madam chairman, and members, our hearts go to the victims of hurricane sandy, and we all agreed with the chairman of appropriations words from a that, in his words, urgently needed to quote immediate need for emergency recovery. just a question about that. but in this time of trillion dollar budget deficits and bailouts and platinum coins, i think we've lost track of how much money this is. it comes to about $450 out of
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the budgets of an average household in this country. that's the tab for every household in america, $450. i do think they would begrudge a penny of that provided they were assured this was going for immediate emergency relief and recovery. but looking at the package, $50 billion worth, $16 billion is to quintuple the amount being spent for new development block grant, double that in the underlying rogers bill. we all know what that program is. it's question will projects, doggie day care centers in ohio and a day at the circus in new york. the only be has repeatedly urgently warned us that the program is in their word ineffective. that's the bureaucracies flout polite term for programs where they cannot trace the funding and cannot show any kind of effectiveness.
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the legal authorization for this program expired in 1994. this measure as i said when coupled the amount of things didn't. $2 billion is for road repairs anywhere in the country including, mr. woodall pointed out, up to $29 for highway repairs in guam, marianna islands, and american samoa. that aren't even in the same ocean as hurricane sandy. $111 million is for weather satellites to explain to me how it was a satellite can be damaged by a hurricane. we may need more weather satellites or better weather satellites or better management of the data, but that's a legitimate debate to have, but not in an emergency release measure. that is what demands a scrutiny of the more normal appropriations process. i could go on but you get the point. the trenton that i'm offering as was the underlying rogers bill without the cdbg funding, limit
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the expenditures to fiscal year 2013. in other words, all of the emergency relief measures that are necessary to get to the current fiscal year are left in the builder everything else is put into normal appropriations process so that they can be given appropriate scrutiny in relation to all of the other competing demands on the designations resource. so would ask that those be put in to the rule for consideration by the house. the other amendment i might add, $52 billion of general highway repairs out of the bill. >> thank you very much, mr. mcclintock. mr. mulvaney. would you like to come and join dr. fleming? and we will see if we can get through the testimony, before everybody needs to run down and
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vote. >> madam chair, if i could interrupt your. one of the things we might see happen right here, i did have i thought mr. pascrell had a very excellent presentation at a question on what the states, how the sake of being limited and why we have to do with that you. one of the sad part is we have had testimony of this panel and the panel that lets of those questions can never be answered again. it is one of the reasons why we do have panels today, and all the testimonies given, all the questions are answered. we have some unique situations that are happening right now. this is not our committee. >> i'm not sure if we can and i think is to be another vote. my guess was that those members left to go vote, and what i can do is ask that those members be brought back up.
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gentlemen, what we're going to do to avoid our having a problem with this in the future is we're going to take a recess, about everybody to go vote on the subsequent two votes, and then will bring people back. there's mr. pascrell. i'm so glad you came back. we'd like to have you available for questions, if we could. the were going to go ahead. today is a very unusual -- this afternoon is very unusual, so if you don't mind, if you would come back at the beginning of the third vote we will ask all the members to come straight back up here, and be available them. thank you. the committee is in recess until the beginning of the third vote this evening. [inaudible conversations]
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>> [inaudible conversations]
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>> [inaudible conversations] >> on c-span today, officials testified about efforts to end sexual assault.
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>> friday, mill tear officials from each of the services testified before the commission on civil rights. this is an hour, 25 minutes. >> i trust all the panelists were with here earlier this morning, but if not, i will just remind folks or let you know that we have a series of warning lights here that will give you the timing for your remarks. you each have five minutes. and you will see a yellow light come on, that means begin to wrap up. when the red light comes on, we would ask that you conclude your remarks. there will be opportunity to elaborate when we as the commission begin to ask you some questions, okay?
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so let me introduce the panelists briefly. major general gary patton, director of the department of defense sexual assault office. nate galbraith, who is a highly qualified expert with the department of defense sexual assault and prevention office, our third panelist is lieutenant general richard c. harding, judge advocate general with the u.s. the president of air force, vice admiral nannette m. derenzi, judge advocate general, and our sixth panel is major general vaughn ary, staff judge advocate to the commandant of the marine corps. welcome, thank you for being here. general patton, please, proceed. >> thank you. on behalf of the secretary of defense, leon panetta -- >> actually, general, i have to swear you all in.
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although i trust the uniform, but our procedure does require that we ask you all to, please, swear or affirm that the information you are about to receive, provide to us and we're about to receive from you is true and accurate to the best of your knowledge, information and belief. is that correct? >> yes. >> okay. so we'll put your time back on, is so go ahead. thank you. >> thank you, sir. and chairman, members of the commission, on behalf of the secretary of defense, leon panetta, it's my honor to appear before you. the secretary of defense is committed to eradicating this crime in the department of defense. our department-wide mission is to prevent and respond to this crime in order to enable military readiness and to reduce with the goal to eliminate sexual assault from our military. i'd like to begin that it has been my honor to serve our nation for over 33 years. it's been a great privilege to serve as a commanding office or or deputy commanding general and
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have served a total of 45 months in combat. i'm no stranger to leading culture change to include helping destigmatize mental health care, more fully integrating women in the armed forces and managing the department's repeal of don't ask, don't tell over this last year. the common denominator has been a clear understanding of the challenges that we've confronted and an unequivocal commitment to mission success, readiness of force and the welfare of our men and women in uniform. the department of defense recognizes sexual assault as a terrible crime, and it is an affront to the values that we defend. it is unacceptable that an estimated 19,000 service members experience some form of unwanted sexual contact in 2010. of those we estimate nearly 13,000 were -- 11,000 for went and over 9,000 women.
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the same year demonstrating the significant underreporting of this crime. this prevents victims from receiving the care they need and limits our ability to hold offenders appropriately accountable. as experts have shared with you today, sexual assault is a complex problem, and there's to single, silver bullet solution. reducing and eliminating sexual assault requires a multipronged approach, one that engages every service member. the department's strategy is organized along five lines of effort; prevention, investigation, accountability, victim advocacy and assessment the undermining in all these -- underpinning in these efforts is to foster an environment where sexual assault is not tolerated, condoned or ignored. we must have a climate of dignity and respect with where where a victim's report is taken seriously x they're provided resources.
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commanders or and leaders across the armed forces play an essential role in establishing this climate where victims supported, and they do not fear retaliation, where offenders know they will be found and held accountable and where bystanders are motivated to intervene. our troops take care of each other on the battlefield, the same ethos of care must extend to combating sexual assault. commanders are responsible for the good order and discipline of the forces under them. this is essential to military readiness and mission success. removing commanders from the administration of military justice would undercut their ability to establish good order and discipline in their units and undercut their authority especially in combat where the uniform code of military justice is most tested by the stresses of war. the department has undertaken a variety of initiatives to strengthen our efforts along all
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five lines. in prevention our goal is to standardize and deliver effective meds and -- mets and programs, professional values, team commitment reinforced in training and other places in other ways to create an environment where sexual assault is not tolerated. widespread efforts are underway now to reinforce these elements of culture from initial military training to multiple levels of professional military education across our force. to include training for men and women who are about to assume command and serve if key leader and noncommission officer missions. victim care is central to our approach. we implemented a new approach tata provides victims an option to transfer to a different location. we've established a certification program, and we've expanded the dod's self-help line to help transitioning service members who have experienced sexual assault. as i conclude, i want the commission to know that i have not come here today to minimize
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the problem of sexual assault in the military. we recognize we have a serious problem and will continue to confront the brutal realities of this problem and remain persistent in all our efforts until we eliminate sexual assault from our ranks. i've detailed the specifics and some of the other programs and initiatives in my submitted written statement. i thank you for your attention and look forward to your questions. >> thank you, general. dr. galbraith, please proceed. >> members of the commission, thank you for this opportunity to talk about the problem of sexual assault in the military. we remain committed to our goal, and that is a military free from sexual assault. begin our policy initiatives in recent legislation, i believe we've set the right actions in motion. my experience on this issue comes as both a criminal investigator and also as a clinical psychologist. i've treated both victims and perpetrators, i have published research, provided training to military and civilian police, and i have served as an expert witness in court. we all want this crime stopped
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now, but there is no single solution to this problem. the societal, interpersonal and individual factors within america that combine to produce and perpetuate sexual assault operate far outside the influence of any military or civilian courtroom. flrch without a substantive change to american culture, most sexual assaults will never be reported to police and even fewer will go to trial. because of this, justice-focused solutions alone cannot bring about the changes needed to combat this crime in the long run. any effective strategy must include prevention. this crime is vastly underreported in the united states and in the military, meaning that reports to law enforcement fall short of the amount of crime estimated to occur annually. a 2010 dod study found that 4.4% of military men and .9% of military men experienced unwanted sexual contact in the
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year before the survey. however, the study also found that a 35% decrease in sexual assaults against women and a 50% decrease in sexual assaults against men had occurred since 2006. while there's no acceptable amount of sexual assault in the military, we believe the department's programs contributed at least in part to this decrease. additional prevention work should hopefully drive the rate of sexual assault down over time. contrary to longstanding societal myths, research suggests that most sexual assaults occur between people that know each other. these nonstranger sex ideal assaults -- sexual assaults account for most of the crimes that occur each year. however, there are other fact or to haves that complicate the experience in the military. sexual sexual assault typically occurred where a victim lives and works. some victims are concerned a report will cause them to lose privacy, subject them to unwanted scrutiny. secondly, when a perpetrator
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resides in the same unit as the victim, sexual assault can set up a potentially damaging dynamic that can rip units apart. if news of the sexual assault gets out, unit members can take size causing all to lose focus of the mission. third, military research finds that a history of any kind of assault doubles the risk of post traumatic stress syndrome when the victim is exposed to combat. while we'd all like this change to occur quickly, there are challenges we must overcome. first, no one expects to become the victim of a sexual assault. this is particularly true for 18-25 yielders. second, most sex to fedders do not believe -- sex fenders do not believe their behavior is criminal. messages about accountability do not register with them or motivate change. third, with so many competing messages in the environment, important information in preventing and reporting sexual
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assault fades into the background especially if you tonight think you're going to become a victim. the most promising methods encourage people to intervene safely. active bistander investigation empowers men and women to ask when they see risky situations. this approach has been incorporated into training by every service as well as other programs on obtaining consent, having healthy relationships and using alcohol responsibly. simply put, prevention works. there are a number of interventions that demonstrate short and long-term improvements in knowledge, stills, behavioral intention, confidence about intervening and victim empathy, and we are using them throughout the department. we're on track to creating a shift in military culture where sexual assault prevention is one more way of looking out for your comrades in arms. in conclusion, there is no single solution to the mr. speaker of sexual assault. rather, the solutions come from working this problem as every level of military and civilian
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society from policies that improve the functions of our institutions all the way down to prevention skills that empower our individual service members. just as focused solutions alone cannot bring about these changes needed to combat this crime. thank you. >> thank you. general harding? >> yes, mr. chairman and members of the commission, thank you for this opportunity today to speak to you about sexual assault prevention and response within b the air force. we are fully committed to supporting victims of sexual assault. while we do everything humanly possible to eradicate this crime from our ranks. our secretary, the honorable michael donnelly, and our chief of staff are fully committed to eliminating sexual assault. they've made their position clear. they and other senior leaders in the air force have zero tolerance for this event. our goal is to drive the rate to zero. one sexual assault is one too many. we believe that our sexual assault challenge, like all challenges we have faced in the
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past and those we will face in the future, will be overcome by staying rooted to our core values; integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do and acting on those values. i'd like to talk next about our worldwide commander meeting and inspectioner that we recently concluded. our core values demand that we maintain and sustain an environment of mutual respect. the air force succeeds because of the professionalism and discipline of our airmen. every airman is critically important, and everyone deserves to be treated with respect. anything less marginalizes great airmen, degrades our mission effectiveness and hurts morale and discipline. in november the chief of staff brought together the air force wing commanders worldwide, more than 156 senior colonels for an unprecedented daylong face to face meeting about sexual assault. as far as or i'm aware, this is
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the first time all wing commanders have met in a single praise at a single time -- place at a single time on any topic. it was an extremely candid discussion. the chief discussed to them as leaderses they must trial courtly and aggressively address this issue. his message was clear, we must redouble our efforts, and we need to start by assuring that our work environments reflect respect for all airmen. as part of this meeting, the chief announced a health and welfare inspection across the united states air force to reinforce expectations of the workplace environment to correct efficiencies, to remove inappropriate materials and to deter conditions that may be detrimental to good order and discipline. stated another way, it was a reset of sorts to insure that the air force workplace was free of offensive materials that might breed a lack of respect for airmen. next i'd like to talk about our special victims counsel program. we recently initiated a program that i believe will make a
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positive and profound change in the way we approach sexual assault cases. effective the 28th of this month, we will provide airmen who report that they are victims of sexual assault with a personal attorney at air force expense. it's unique among federal agencies in providing this level and kind of support. it will greatly improve the quality of support we provide to victims of sexual assault. for the last full year ofover assault statistics, 96 victims who agreed to participate in prosecution of their alleged offender changed their mind before trial and declined to cooperate with law enforcement personnel and with the prosecution. these 96 victims represented 29% of our victims of sexual assault who had filed an unrestricted report of sexual assault. i believe had these victims been represented by their own torn, many of them would not have declined to cooperate and hold the alleged offender accountable.
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while our pilot program will likely increase prosecutions for sexual assault, make no mistake: its purpose is to give the best care to our people. victim care is extremely important in the united states air force. our special victims counsel will offer independently of the prosecution's command, establish attorney/client relationships, and thereby protect victims' privacy and help preclude victims feeling revictimized by having to endure alone a complex, exhausting and often confusing criminal justice process. we are in the early stages of this program, and we are very excited about what the future holds. last month we trained our or first cadre of 60 military attorneys as special victims counsel. over the course of three days, these attorneys received in-depth training from experts. the training featured a recognized civilian expert,
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professor meg garvin, the executive director and clinical professor of law and crime victim litigation at lewis and clark law school. professor garvin taught our jags lessons that she has learned over a did of represent -- over a decade of representing victims. in closing, the men and women who raise their right hand with pride and volunteer to serve this great nation became more than just airmen, they became part of an air force family. therefore, we strongly believe we have a sacred obligation to provide come for victims to protect our or fellow family members and represent them well. i look forward to answering your questions, and i thank you for this opportunity. >> thank you, general harding. admiral derenzi, please proceed. >> thank you. thank you for the opportunity to talk to you about the navy's commitment to fighting sexual assault.
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let me state right up front this is not just a legal issue, it's primarily a leadership issue, and in recognition of this, the chief of naval operations implemented a multifaceted approach to combat sexual assault including a comprehensive training and awareness program that emphasizes active involved leadership and encourages bystander intervention. when an incident does occur, the pave is dedicated to insuring that victims is receive the full scope and spectrum of timely support to include medical treatment, counseling and legal assistance. the navy's hiring 66 additional credentialed sexual assault response coordinators and 66 full-time professional and e credentialed victim advocates. they will augment the more than 3,000 command victim advocates that we've already trained, and we'll work with specifically-trained ncia investigators and jag corps prosecutors to form the core of our special victim capability. the jag corps is intensely
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focused on upholding the special trust that's placeed in us to provide a fair, effective and efficient military justice system. we've implemented several key initiatives to insure that our clients, both the government and the accused, receive the highest level of advocacy. in 2007 to improve the overall quality of court-martial litigation, we established the military justice career track. jag corps officers apply for -- [inaudible] based on their litigation experience and aptitude. those selected for designation lead trial and defense departments and provide experience in the courtroom, personally conducting, overseeing or adjudicating sexual assault and other come for example cases. this leverages trial counsel, defense counsel and judicial experience to enhance the effectiveness of our court-martial practice for complex cases. almost four years ago, the navy hired two civilian experts with
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extensive experience in sexual assault, and this past year we hired two highly-qualified experts, and we're in the process of hiring two more. they're channeling significant sexual assault litigation experience into enhanced litigation skills and practices for prosecution and defense teams across the spectrum and in the field. in 2010 we stood up our trial counsel and defense counsel assistance program led by experts in military justice. tcap has delivered training and prosecution assessments worldwide. they've conducted outreach training. and they've served as trial counsel or assistant trial counsel in several complex cases to include sexual assault cases. dcap was created to support and enhance the defense bar, provide technical expertise for case collaboration and standardize resources for defense counsel.
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the office leads training efforts and consults with detailed counsel through every phase of the court-martial process worldwide. we've also established an -- [inaudible] program, and in 2012 we assigned two mid-level door officers to work in the sexual crimes unit. what i hope is clear from these and other initiatives described more fully in my written statement is that the secretary of the navy, the cno, jonathan greener, and the entire navy leadership team e remain steadfastly committed to getting in front of this problem b and eliminating sexual assault from our ranks. for our part, the jag corps is actively engaged in training, prevention efforts, victim response and accountability initiatives. again, thank you for this opportunity, and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, admiral. general chipman? >> thank you. chairman, members of the commission, on behalf of army secretary john mcewen, chief
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of staff, general ray odierno, thank you for the opportunity. sexual assault, as you know, is not just a military problem, it's a nationwide problem. one of the most difficult crimes to prosecute anywhere, sexual assault effects every sector of our society. the army, it destroys unit cohesion and morale and can devastate the lives of victims. it undercuts the trust that is so critical to mission accomplishment. leadership is the key to change, but accountability in our ranks remains critical in creating a command climate in which victims feel safe and confident reporting misconduct. the military justice system constitutes a modern criminal justice system. [inaudible] are trained practitioners who pursue both justice and the maintenance of good order and discipline in the force. our system is well equipped to
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meet the challenge of sexual assault. the unique role of the command orer, the wide range of disposition options and our modern comprehensive statutes provide the tools necessary to hold offenders accountable and provide support and justice to victims. the army has focused our accountability efforts on the special victim capability now directed in the national defense authorization act of 2013. every unrestricted report of a sexual assault from unwanted touch over the clothing to forcible rape is referred to specially-selected and trained criminal assault investigators. the sexual assault investigators from our criminal investigation command and the special prosecutors from the judge advocate general's corpses work hand in the hand from the initial report to the post-trial process. the close coordination between these two has improved the
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investigation, prosecution and victim care aspects of sexual assault allegations. this expertise enables commanders to make evidentiary-based disposition decisions in these often complex cases. the seps are selected and assigned based on demonstrated court-martial trial experience and the ability to work with victims. before assuming their responsibilities, we provide them with additional training including on-the-job training with a civilian special victim b unit in a large metropolitan area. in addition, we employ civilian highly-quaffed experts or hqes who bring decades of experience in the investigation and prosecution of these difficult offenses. svps and hqe have yielded great results, and we will expand and formalize the concept adding additional resources and personnel to establish a premier special victim capability. in my view, prosecution and conviction rates do not alone
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effectively measure is criminal justice system's ability to address sexual assault. if we pursue challenging cases because we believe that sevens both victim interests and community interests, some defendants will be acquitted. nevertheless, our system and outcomes are transparent, and our focus on accountability has produced measurable results and men bits. -- benefits. we stand by our statistics on the rate of prosecution knowing we can prosecute difficult cases. not as easy to measure but perhaps more illustrative of our success are the testimonials of victims and their families attesting that the dedicated and passionate assistance provided by our svps. one prosecutor was described by a victim's mother as a member of the family who fought for her daughter, but most of all showed her that the army does the right thing. it would be naive to suggest that we can prosecute our way out of this problem. accountability remains critical, but only one aspect of the
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army's comprehensive program to combat sexual assault and its precursor behavior, sexual harassment. the army has invested unprecedented resources, over $50 million in each of the past two year, into prevention response program designed to achieve culture change. the i am strong training emphasizing army values and teaching bystander intervention techniques saturates soldier training at every level beginning with our newest recruits. a senior leader priority, this is an ongoing, monumental institutional effort. you will find details of the army's sharp prevention and response program along with descriptions of policies adopted to address the unique needs of military victims in my written submission. with that, i stand ready to answer any questions you may have. thank you. >> thank you, general. general ary, please, proceed. >> chairman castro, members of the commission, thank you for the opportunity to address you today. i must begin by assuring you that secretary may bit and
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general amos continue to make elimination of sexual assault a top priority in the department. within the marine corps, our commandant is personally leading this fight. in june 2012 the commandant issues his response campaign plan. this plan is the blueprint for institutional and cultural change within our corps and sets us on a course to improve our ability to prevent and respond to sexual assault. when we talk about preventing sexual assault, the commandant uses the phrase get to the left of the problem. that means more than simply emphasizing the importance of the issue, it means taking action at all levels and focusing on training, policy and other initiatives to help us stop sexual assault before it takes place. to reinforce the importance of top-down leadership, the commandant began the campaign plan by directing every marine general officer to attend a two-day general officer symposium. he also directed three focused
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training initiatives; command team training for commanders and their senior staff, take a stand training for all noncommissioned officers and all hands training for all marines and attached navy personnel. the commandant also traveled around the world speaking to marine leaders, and these heritage briefs he defined who we are and who we are not. his goal in these speeches was to change behavior with a particular focus on preventing sexual assaults from occurring. regarding our response to sexual assault when it occurs, we respond to both the victim and the alleged crime. in terms of victim response, the marine corps is pursuing several victim care initiatives. our first major initiative involves hiring trained and certified civilian professionals to serve as sexual assault response coordinators and victim advocates. we are also implementing regional sexual assault response teams to provide a comprehensive and coordinated approach to victim care that extends beyond
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the boundaries of any response service such as medical, legal or counseling. to improve our legal response capability, we established a defense service organization in the fall of 2011, and this past year the congressman adapt directed a complete reorganization of our legal community. this reorganization affected over 49 different commands in over 800 legal -- [inaudible] this new organization established four regional legal service sport sections -- support sections designed to insure we place the right counsel, both trial and defense, with the appropriate expertise, supervision and staff support on the right case regardless of location. each region has a regional trial counsel office that gives us a special victim capability. the centerpiece of these offices is a complex trial team composed of experienced senior prosecutors. these regional offices also contain criminal investigators, a legal administrative officer,
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paralegal support and highly quaffed experts. our highly qualified experts are civilian experienced prosecutors who will provide training, mentoring and advice on trial strategy and tactics to all military prosecutors in the region. all of these legal system improvements continue to insure that we protect the interests of the victims while insuring the accused receives the due process rights guaranteed by the constitution. within the marine corp., the commandant has also expanded the scope of secretary or pa panetts policy on the disposition authority for sexual authorities to cover not only penetration offenses, but also contact sex offenses, all child sex offenses and attempts to commit such offenses. in essence, we now have a smaller group of senior and experienced officers making disposition decisions for all sexual offense allegations and any related collateral misconduct. finish sexual assault remains a soars challenge for our corps,
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but the commandant's leadership and commitment is making a difference. by using a top-down, comprehensive approach and by attacking on all fronts from prevention to prosecution, i truly believe we are making a positive change in the culture of our corps. again, i thank you for the opportunity to address you today, and i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you, general. i would ask the commissioners who are on the upon the if you would -- phone if you would mute your line unless you're going to ask a question, we're getting a little feedback. the chair recognizes commissioner gladny. >> dr. galbraith, gosh, i've got a lot of questions for you. [laughter] you were an investor. >> yes, sir. >> what do you think the strengths and weaknesseses are when it comes to these types of offenses? >> i think turnover is a prime challenge. we have a constant influx of new investigators and keeping a highly-trained corps is a
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challenging. and the reason i say that is because we give very, very good training. matter of fact, next week i'm going out to help the army with a task selection course to help them improve their course that's out there. but the challenge that we have is that you cannot build in experience. and the -- you can train them all day long, but how i i usually explain it to the folks when i teach investigations is good investigators can identify the evidence that's present in a crime scene or in a case, but a really good experience can also identify what's not there. >> well, i actually had the opportunity to go through two of your powerpoint presentations that you made in '08. >> oh. >> do you still think those statistics are relevant? >> i don't think so because at that time we didn't have access to the kind of data that we have now. >> okay. so, i mean, i was kind of
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surprises, because in one of the slides you stated that victims of sexual assault were many times more likely to develop ptsd and these types of problems if they reported the sexual assault. is that s that correct the? >> no, that's not correct. >> okay. i must have misunderstood that. >> no. >> but victims do develop ptsd, you did have a slide that said military sexual trauma at a higher rate than people under intense combat. >> as a matter of fact, that's data that is out there and in civilian research and also that the va has found as well. >> what happens in the military when job performance falls as a result of having ptsd or depression or these types of maladies? >> you said it exactly, job performance falls. it's very difficult for some of our folks to maintain the high levels of performance that they need to when they're also trying to overcome these problems in their daily life and their
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relationships and at work. >> and how are the service people treated if that occurs? >> um, i think that it's a, i think it's -- i don't know if i can paint with a broad brush, but i think that anytime at least in my experience in providing treatment and care one of the things that i do when a commander used to contact me as a clinical psychologist and say i'm having problems with one of my troops, i would try to educate them on some of the information in how a person who's suffering from ptsd might comport themselves and the challenges that they would have specifically. and by providing that education to commanders and also their firster sergeants that were the head enlisted person in the unit, they were able to understand and maybe take a different vector towards helping the person. >> thank you. >> commissioner graziano. >> thank you. i'm humbled by the complexity of the issue, but i'm more humbled by your all's presence, to have so many senior officers testify
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in force and also waiting throughout the morning's panels. we used to have a practice at the commission that the government witnesses would be on the first panel and then they could leaf, -- leave, and i objected to that in appropriate cases. but the reason i'm pointing it out besides thanking you is -- well, i'll mention one other thing. the past few times we've invited someone from the department of justice, the federal haw mandates that all federal agencies shall cooperate fully with the commission. they won't send a line attorney to testify at any time in the past couple of years. so it kind of belies at least one false myth, and that false myth is that the military doesn't take this issue very seriously. um, so after trying to compliment you, i did want to, i
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think, to vice admiral derenzi i have a particular question, but others may comment. to the extent i've been able to get up to speed on some of the issues, i think that the biggest improvement to me is the kind of career tracking that i think you all have the lead on in the navy, and as those of us who are -- i was a very brief litigator, but i know enough about prosecutors and other litigators that you learn to be a great lawyer by watching the great counsel, prosecutor or criminal defense, then working side by side with them, then having them available to counsel you. and just for the c-span viewers who may not know why you institute this -- and i'd appreciate if you could e will n rate or explan -- there were incentives for those who entered the jag corps to be assigned
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prosecutors and defense counsel, but maybe to be stationed elsewhere. and there budget quite the rewards of a -- there wasn't quite the rewards of a career track that end with, by the way, flag officer for the senior judge. and now you've created that. and it seems to me that both victims and the accused, who falsely or rightly accused, we want a justice system that convicts someone even if they did the crime in a fair manner. that seems to me to be maybe the most important form of the past few years, but it's not. and it's my vision of what it takes to learn at a great lawyer's side, you were a great lawyer, i understand we may have even been on the opposite side of an important case at one point. but how is -- [inaudible] the early results and the other branches, how much do you think
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that would help, has helped, can help and what kind of patience do we need before we see the effectiveness of that solution? >> well, thank you. i appreciate your question and, frankly, you've done as good or better a job of describing our military litigation career path and track than many who i'd expect to be more familiar with it. we instituted it because we felt we wanted to, a, incentivize people to stay in military -- [inaudible] and in particular -- [audio difficulty] it described the phenomenon, and it wasn't that military justice is valued -- [inaudible] weren't viewed to be as competitive as officers who -- taking jobs that on their face
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and perhaps in practice required a greater degree of personal sacrifice with the operational forces day in and day out. and the uninitiated might look and say if you stayed in a courtroom, you're not working as hard. i disagree with that fundamentally as a premise. and we determined that the best way to keep good litigators in the courtroom was to break them into what line officers would call the equivalent of a restrictive community. they compete among each other for promotion, so they're not competing against people who work for three and four-star officers say at a combatant command. they're competing against other litigators, trial, defense and judicial. we instituted it in 2007. i will tell you that it takes persistent leadership and anticipation to identify -- and attention to identify and groom the right people. there's a numeric factor; how many cases have you had. but just like we've said with everything else, numbers aren't everything. there are the intangible factors
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in who has what it take to be a good litigator. we look for those people, we groom them, and at the four-year point they have an opportunity to apply to specialized. and boards pick them. and the boards are made up of military jus he's practitioners and jag corps leaders. at that point we tend to, we've structured our organization as we've grown a cadre of these people so thattail be department headses for both trial counsel and defense counsel. they're trained in not only litigating, but in mentoring the young counsel and bringing them along. because as you said, it's not just by doing, it's by watching, it's by learning, and can it's done by case by case, accused by accused, victim by victim, argument by argument. we're committed to doing that, and it's starting to bear fruit as we've seen the promotion prospects improve.
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our military justice career practitioners are promoting at a rate equivalent to the rest of us. that's critically important because there is no substitute for seniority, longevity and experience when it comes to prosecuting complex cases and leading litigators. the chief judge position in particular, as you said, not only incentivizes it, but incentivizes people to be judges and to take more than one tour as a judge. that's critically important too. you say how long will it take to bear fruit, i think it's already born fruit in the leaders that it's produced for us and in the fact that our junior personnel are anxious to be a part of that community. one thing i would say, though, you can't just stay in the courtroom your entire career. you have to work among the fleet to appreciate how the conduct resonates in the fleet and to appreciate the perspective of the sailor and the convening authority. some of our best military justice practice decision
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practitioners today are at sea as lawyers for our nuclear aircraft carriers. >> commissioner -- [inaudible] >> thank you, mr. chairman. excuse me. general patton, i have three questions of you, but the others who have given such excellent presentations should feel free to chime in you have anything to add. um, the -- general, the testimony that we've just heard, i think, is a very, very exciting to see the level of commitment being evinced by the various leaders of the various services. the fact that fume rouse experiments -- numerous experiments are about to take place which we imagine will bear fruit, monies being spent,
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creativity is being expended, chances are being taken, people are focusing enormous energy and anticipation on what you -- attention on what you admitted in your own testimony a terrible problem. i'm wondering how these experiments will be evaluated, how -- what the learnings will be shared, how the public will be informed of whether or not all these excellent inputs actually yield results and how soon. so i'm wondering what the plan for disseminating best practices if any of these things turn out to be if not the magic bullet, then part of the arsenal that becomes the way we combat sexual violence in the military.
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pardon the military allusion. >> we'll -- thank you for that question, ma'am. >> that's the first. >> one of our lines of effort is really one that you're really commenting and focusing on here, and that's the line and effort of assessment. and so there are, there are some things in the place here that allow us to -- we recognize we have to continually look at ourself. and what i've actually been sharing with, you know, by colleagues in the services and so forth is that we have to assess our programs with an eye towards taking the best practices and making them the common practices. and so that's the approach that we're taking in a number of different areas as we apply the assessment line of effort to really everything else we do. so one example is in training. we've launched a very comprehensive assessment program
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in the area of training. this will go on or for several years. the first element of training that we assessed -- and we just completed the assessment, and i'm going to get to the results -- but we just completed the assessment on all the training commanders get before they take command as well as training that senior noncommissioned officers get before they take senior leadership positions. the reason we focus on commanders and soon noncommissioned officers first in the entire training regiment because really the centerpiece and the key role that they have in any sexual assault prevention response program. so this assessment went on over several months. we've just collaboratively reviewed the results of that assessment with all the services, and i expect that the secretary of defense panetta will publish the results of these -- the results of this assessment in the days and weeks ahead. it's taken -- what we saw in the area of training is that all the
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services were doing something, but that we saw best practices in some services that we want to be the common practice in the others. like interactive training, adult learning. we want training tailored to the specific audience. for example, there's a dramatic representation of sexual relationships that resonates very strongly with young adults called sex signals. well, this is perfect for initial military training and the people. it probably momentum play that well with senior -- it probably doesn't play that well with senior staff. so that training is adapted to that audience. so we've also seen where powerpoint training is, we've thrown that away. commanders and senior noncommissioned officers, they thrive on training where they're put in is scenarios, et call decision -- ethical decision games is one model that the ma reap corp -- marine corps uses. i sat through three hours of
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take the helm training with the navy. it was begin by a team of experts. -- it was given by a team of experts. today take that training to every ship and element within the navy to export that training, and it was purely driven by a number of scenarios. what are you going to do now, captain of the ship, when this happens on your ship. and then talking through the serious issues and so forth associated with that. so we've got some really aggressive assessment programs in praise for the training -- in praise for the training side. shifting gears a bit, well, to answer your question how do we then codify that, well, we standardize it in policy. and so the core learning objectives that we've identified that work best and best practices for all the services will be codified in a policy that our secretary of defense is going to promulgate across the department. and that will be the standardized core learning objectives and core competencies for all commander training. >> so you're going to be
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measuring and evaluate withing each and every one of the initiatives that these leaders have just delineated, and you're going to be making an assessment of which are more successful than which and then putting those forward as uniform standard of some kind? >> that's the -- >> or am i -- b. >> no, no, that's the idea. i really expanded on the training piece, but we're doing the same in other programs as well. general harding mentioned the special victims counsel. that's a program, a pilot program the air force has taken on that we want to take a very close look at across the department can, learn from it, take the emerging lessons learned and somewhere down the road look to see how that can apply to the rest of the department. the special victims capability is another area. we have convened a study group. we're looking at all the things the services are currently doing. you heard a lot of them. but we want to standardize that in a department-wide policy, again, capturing the best
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elements of that special victims capability and then codify that in a policy that will then drive and standardize for time, over time the way many which we do special victims capability. >> when professor sullivan urged us not to recommend more changes because we haven't even figured out yet whether the changes that are currently underway, um, are going to take hold, and the congress invariably will make a mistake be they, you know, if they try to do too much too soon, and all of that admonition that we take really seriously. um, it seems to me a very good way of warding off future meddling in your business would be to make a very rigorous assessment of everything that's being done and, you know, having it see the light of day so that
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the public has confidence that you really are going to assess what are the best practices and make those the common practice, as you've just identified. that's just a piece of advice. i think it would go a long way. my second question before i lose the patients of the chair -- >> you'll never lose the patience -- >> thank you so much, mr. chairman. my second question is has the secretary given any thought to assessing cases that perhaps were mishapped led in the -- mishandled in the past, and if any of you have seen any of the public comment that we've received on this topic, my layperson's estimate is that cases that might have been mishandled in the past might number in the many thousands, if
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not tens of thousands of cases. have you given any thought to some kind of systematic address of past injustices, some opportunity for women and men who might have not been treated as well, um, by their services as we hope victims and perpetrators for that matter will be treated going forward on the basis of all these think programs -- all these new programs, how we might compensate them if at all for the past failures to address this as a serious issue? >> i think the best way i can answer that is by referencing an ongoing review that the department of defense inspector general is conducting.
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this -- i don't have oversight of that particular agency. however, they keep me informed on their reviews and their efforts. and i know they're finishing up a 2012 review of cases that were handled by the military criminal investigative offices across all the departments. >> uh-huh. >> they look specifically at closed cases, and where those cases that were closed, how did they -- did they comply with the standards for an investigation, did they comply with the thoroughness, the timeliness and those sorts of things. b and and i don't have the data on this because i haven't seen the final report that they're working on now, but they have returned some number of cases back to the service military criminal investigative offices, the cid, the osi, the ncis in the three services for the purposes of cometting the
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investigation. continuing the investigation. i know they're doing some analysis as to whether those particular investigations were conducted in the standards of thoroughness, accuracy, timeliness and so forth by those investigative officers. so that's one element. and i would say that the secretary of defense always has his inspector general to do things like that, to review in this case criminal investigative matters. the ig has already announced that their next year's -- this current year, 2013, oversight review topic will be compliance across the department with the sex offender registry program. and have detailed a number of things that they're going to be looking at there. so there's two years in a row where the violent crimes division of the department of defense ig has focused on these, on these matters for the purpose of giving this, i think, a very critical look at the direction of the secretary. >> but there's no specific
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opportunity, for example, of women or men who think that they were treated unjustly in the past to seek some kind of recompense or -- >> i know one thing that was addressed by a provision in the national defense authorization act that was just signed into law in 2013 is the, is the direction to reinforce the fact that the board of correction and military records that exists in each of the departments is to emphasize that and inform our, both our active and our retired populations that they are aware of that as a form of, formal form of redress for wrongdoing or that sort of thing. and that was reinforced in a recent law, and my job will be to with the services to really put that into place and do that broader information campaign and
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insure those people are aware of that. >> and would that extend to according people veterans' benefits if they were otherwise qualified, or is it only correcting the nature of their discharge? >> i believe it generally deals with the correcting of the active military component of their service. >> all right. i'll defer my third question until later if there is a later -- >> actually, i'm going to ask a question, then we're going to go to commissioner yaki, and commissioner gladny will have the last question. there was a reference, i think by you, admiral derenzi, and i heard it in one of the early panels to the issue of child sexual abuse. to what extent are military families being victimized by predators or by rapists who happen to be service members? outside of the family? is that an issue that's going on here? because we haven't talked about it. we've really been focused on service member to service member. but since child abuse as come up twice during this hearing, i
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wanted to find out a little bit more about what that is. >> i think part of the reason you see them linked together is because we've tried to, um, to get, per tease available to us -- expertise available to us within our own organization in the cases that are the most difficult for us to adjudicate and to litigate. and child sexual assault and adult sexual assault are both like that. they have some similarities, some differences. we're working very hard to have our litigators understand the behavior that's exhibited by victims of sexual trauma, adult or child. you see some of those things happening intrafamily. the myth out there is you can't rape within your own family. that, as you know, isn't true. so we're working to insure that we've got the skills and we develop the skills to deal with both kinds of cases because there are similarities, but there are critical differences
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too. as a matter of fact, as you alluded to we've looked specifically to find folks with that kind of experience. um, one of them who's in the room today is in our headquarters, and one of the most valuable things that she does for us is insure that we are looking for the cutting edge training so that we don't just funnel it to one side of the aisle or the other. and we've benefited tremendously from her experience as have the investigators and in the future the victim advocates that we're bringing online. i believe we'll learn a lot from each other, and we need to continue to do that and leverage that experience in the special victim capability which would include victims of child abuse as well. >> thank you, admiral. commissioner yake, you have the floor. >> thank you very much, mr. chair. just briefly, i have one question, but i just wanted to do a quick follow up -- [inaudible] what commissioner achtenberg was
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talking about. i think it's really important, the point that she made. there are, we receive any number of different e-mails and letters from people who basically were discharged from the service under less than honorable circumstances because of how their claims were handled or how they reacted to their claiming being handled within the services. and i think it's really important, and can as someone who has worked with veterans on correcting their military records and upgrading their discharges in the past, i know how exceedingly difficult it is to do it from their perspective. and it's a very uphill fight. so i would just urge that in whatever the inspector general is doing that if there's a way to the work on reviewing records of people who believe that they
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are wrongfully treated or wrongfully discharged, i mean, those are e enormous consequencs to their future ability to receive health care, veterans' benefits, what they disclose on a job form. and it may be for those people where the system failed them because people like yourselves -- [inaudible] having put in the proper procedures in place, we can't forget about those who paid a heavy price early on and are still paying it now. the question i have, though, is listening to all of your, all the different branches and seeing how many of you -- and, again, as all of our panelists, we thank you for your service to our country. but i wonder if you can respond to one of the proposals brought forth by an early, someone in an earlier panel which is it's great that you're all doing
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these efforts to combat sexual violence, sexual assault, sexual discrimination within your branches, but the fact that each of you is doing it in your own silo, how do you react to a proposal that would create an independent, unified branch of investigations or or prosecutions for these types of -- [inaudible] cross-branch vision would address the issue of promotion and rank because it would be independent civil servant's career path rather than intramilitary path. and create a service-wide specialty in terms of investigating, prosecuting, defending and sentencing of sexual assault in the military? >> anyone? >> well, let me take a first
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swing at that and just take it from a commander's perspective. and so if the notion is that sexual assault cases would be removed from the chain of command and then provided to this independent agency, i'd just like to make a comment on that aspect of that, and that is that, you know, we put a lot of responsibility on our commanders. they're responsible for the health and welfare, accomplishing the mission, the readiness of their unit. and we also owe them the tools to do the job. one of those tools is training, and another one of those tools is the military justice system, the disciplinary system that allows them to not only put standards in place, but then enforce the standards by applying disciplinary or measures who would choose no not comply with the standards, violate the standards of conduct and behavior. and so it's important in my view
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to retain the commander as a central role in the justice system. and the secretary of defense recognized this here earlier this year when he decided to elevate the disposition authority for the commander. previously, that disposition decision as to what direction b a case -- what direction a case would take be it court-martial, be it administrative separation or so forth, that decision was moved from the '05 rank to the '06 rank which in the navy is a captain, in the army it's an air force marine or colonel. and i can tell you as an 06 commander i had handled significant number more cases including court-martial and had
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much more experience serving and working with trial counsel. and at the 06 level command, that's really in the army the first level when you have an assigned trial counsel at your side. and so, again, mindful of all those elements, the secretary panetta decided to elevate that very critical disposition decision and authority to the 06 level but to retain that command disposition decision within the chain of command. and i'll just close by saying, i mean, with my commander hat on, commanders own this problem. commanders are going to have to fix this problem. and we need to keep commanders involved in the problem, not less involved. by removing any kind of decision making with regard to discipline away from the chain of command, we are not keeping commanders involved in the problem. the energy in the program and all the things we just talked
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about here in o our opening statements and some of our initial questions, that dissipates when you remove, you know, some of those key elements of the disciplinary system from the chain of command, and i defer to any of my other chattanoogas here for other -- colleagues here for other comments on that point. >> i think -- and thank you, commissioner yaki, for that question. i think anytime you consider taking that valuable function that commanders perform today and holding members accountable and making those judgments, when you take that away from a commander, the second, third and fourth order of effects are ugly, and you ought to consider those effects before making such a recommendation. first, i'd like to address, though, the idea of taking the investigative responsibilities. it's awfully important as an investigator that you understand the nature of the unit that you're investigating, the people involved, what they do, where
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they came from, how they were trained. growing up inside those services, wearing that uniform, walking the walk and talking the talk is awfully important. to understand how things might have occurred in a particular unit. to find one size fits all for all services would be awfully difficult. easy to say, difficult to in create in levels of expertise. as far as pulling the authority from a commander to hold members accountable and make those disciplinary decisions, we fight and win the nation's war, and we've got a really good track record doing that. it's not by accident, it's because we bring four things to every fight; the best equipment, the best people, the best training. those are three legs of a four-legged table. fourth leg is discipline. and that ability to hold members accountable is important for command and control. this is the art of military science now. so if you start to pull at that thread, the second, third and
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fourth order of effects is awfully important, i think, to all of us. so i think it's important to the nation to consider ramifications of looking to someone else to make those decisions. thank you. >> if i might, sir -- >> go ahead. >> i'd like to address one piece of commissioner yaki's remarks, sir, that you referred to us as i independent silos, and i can see how it might appear that way. we are different services, we're structured differently, our service cultures are somewhat different, but believe you me, my peers on the possible here, we work well and cooperatively together. our trial counsel and defense counsel assistance programs leverage each other's experience. our judges train together. we take the best practices that we each identify in our services and try to figure out how best to apply them within the challenges that we face -- not
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necessarily uniquely, but perhaps differently. so it may not appear that we are acting in a coordinated way, but i can assure you that we are particularly when it comes to the challenges of complex litigation and the prevention and response efforts. they're all slightly different, but you'll see that they're all essentially very much the same in their etch sis on prevention -- emphasis on prevention. once they get to us, we owe the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines a good, effective and fair military justice system. even though that's one of my primary statutory duties, i would like it if they didn't get to us and if our pree vex efforts succeeded. >> commissioner gladney, you've got the last question. >> thank you, mr. chairman, i actually have three. >> i suspected you might. [laughter] >> i would just like to tell general ary that i have a friend in the military and, apparently,
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you have an extended sexual assault training program now, and they attended it and thought it was wonderful, to let you know that. >> that's great. >> since you've been sitting so quietly. [laughter] i've asked this question before earlier today, so i'm sure you've heard it. especially the justice officer generals. is there any way to have guidelines for commanders, especially since command and control is so important as to how to select a forum for discipline, you know, whether it's article 15 or court martial or summary court martial or something like that and some sentencing guidelines for these types of offenses, or is this just a mere impossibility? >> if i could take first crack at that, i think we have guidelines already in the sense of this. each of our commission officers, each of your commanders is trained from their initial
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officer basic course their role in military justice. and each level as they assume increasing levelses of command they get additional training on the execution of their responsibilities. as we've discussed already, at the battalion commander and brigade commander levels, one in the army at least has an assigned judge advocate to help assist in making those disposition decisions. so you're going to find both by policy in our regulations where we have withheld all sexual assault-related conduct to the battalion commander level initially and then for the sexual assault offense itself to the brigade commander level, there is some disposition guidance already operative. and as well we're talking about judge advocates at the prosecution level, at the staff judge advocate level, colonels with 20 years' experience who are guiding commanders in the execution of their duties under the system. so from that standpoint, there is disposition guidance out there -- >> could you speak up a little
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bit, general in the mic is not picking you up there. the square one down there. >> yes. in terms of sentencing guidelines, we think it's appropriate to consider those factors that underlie any sentencing system, any mature sentencing system, and we execute that appropriately with panels and with military judges who have served as prosecutors, defense counsel administering the system and then trained as judges at our common school. >> so, basically, you're saying that this is being carried out already, and there's no need to write some of this down? >> if you're engaged in a serious criminal offense, you will receive the appropriate disposition decision and the appropriate sentence that is, in fact, unique to the factors aggravating and mitigating of your particular crime. >> and have now do you see more supervision over line commanders as to what gets brought up on
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charges and discipline for those commanders that don't bring things up on charges? i mean, is that being developed, that type of supervision from the field level? >> i think it's fair to say that there is, in fact, a great deal of interest in all levels of command and how they're handling these kinds of issues. so, for example, you've got the disposition elevation initially to the captain or colonel level supported by a judge advocate, guided by a judge advocate in that decision. but would've you've also got other oversight mechanisms. you know, we have a civilian appellate court for the armed forces, the ultimate supervisor. we've got article 37 which talks about unlawful command influence in the direction and control of our system. so there is, in fact, a level of interest and a level of ability to influence those decisions. and if a commander is unhappy about how a subordinate would propose to handle a certain
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issue, that commander can pull it up to his or her level to dispose of that allegation. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> my last question -- >> okay. that's number four, but i'll let you go. >> my last question. when a service person files a restricted or unrestricted claim, do these documents hit their personnel file? in other words, my concern is that, um, well, i have hot of concerns, but -- i have lots of concern, but one concern is that it follows them from assignment to assignment. and the second thing is if you file an unrestricted claim and you decide to make a career in the service, you know, a lot of other people go from unit to unit to unit, and there's -- i guess it's a navy term, scuttlebutt? [laughter] >> yes. >> that follows them. and how is all that handled? i mean, to protect people? because if you don't do that,
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don't you discourage those kinds of claims? >> unrestricted report, first of all, the report itself is documented on a dd form 2910, a reporting preference form. and the only person that gets a copy of that form is the sexual assault response coordinator that you spoke to and the victim. and it does not go into a personnel file, it does not follow someone throughout their career. whether you report an unrestricted report or you give a restricted report, either one. we keep a copy of the dd form 2910 for unrestrict thed cases in our -- unrestricted cases in our defense sexual assault incident database. >> is there any kind of discipline for people who perpetuate -- i mean, i guess it's very difficult, but if i'm in a unit and i go to another unit and there's somebody there from when i filed an unrestricted claim and it gets around, i could, i guess, get ostracized -- >> well, harassment on any
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account is taken very seriously, and if the individual reports that they're being harassed by someone within the unit for something that occurred previously, they need to brick it to the -- bring it to the attention of their commander or to law enforcement depending on the level of harassment. >> and that's well communicated to the troops? >> um, i, i believe so. we tell everyone that if you come in and you experience that kind of retribution, that kind of recompense, then we want to know about it. >> thank you. >> if i could answer? >> sure, go ahead. >> the question? recognizing the need for protections and privacy and confidentiality and victim preferences is one of the policies that we've put in place here just in the last six months is called the expedited transfer policy. it's a policy across the department. secretary of defense promulgated that allowed the victim to make a request for a transfer from the unit or from the
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installation. and, again, it's at the request of the victim. some victims that's very important to them, and other victims it may not be, and they want to stay within that team that they've grown up in. and it only applies to unrestricted reports, and we track those very closely. .. >> so we are watching that very closely. it's one of the bad elements we put into the database because i think we want, again, getting
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back to the question about assessment. we are continually looking at ourselves to assess whether these programs are effective. are we providing the support to the victims that is intended by the policy. so if it's a six-month old policy that we are looking at very closely. >> in fairness and interest of bipartisanship, i am granting commission of the to ask questions. >> thank you. my fellow commissioners, on your right, my left. i just want to return to questions to the first them and maybe the other side of the ledger, which is that i certainly concur with what one of the witnesses said, that it is your mission to get more convictions, like all of you will get more convictions. but maybe that's appropriate.
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and so let me ask you this, in some context. maybe you should do better than not only what you been doing but the civilian system. in the civilian, as i understand from civilian prosecutors, if two people have been drinking at a bar, non-stranger situation that lead together, there's an allegation of rape, you know, there's a lot of ross accusers -- prosecutors who will evaluate the evidence but need something all a bit more than he said/she said before they think that they are willing to make a charging decision and seek proof beyond a reasonable doubt. one of the witnesses on the later. no, maybe this panel, i'm not sure, but said we are not afraid to bring cases that will result in a quill. that certainly makes sense, but particularly to the, the judge
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advocate general and different service, do you think that there ought to be a different standard, charging standard than maybe any civilian system? should the services common you know, maybe charge at for a lot of unique reasons, tried to bring a case and try to prove guilt at a level that would be slightly less evidence, slightly less strong than any civilian context? do you think the ideal is to make about the same charges, decisions that a good civilian prosecutor would? >> i did offer this up, as i think an important part of considering your question. we tried a lot of cases that
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civilian prosecutors waive jurisdiction on, and, but that occurs off base, for example. the civilian prosecutors often the first one to make a decision whether or not to bring charges. as a matter of course the air force routinely request waivers of jurisdiction, and we received waivers in many cases that they elected not to try. we tried many cases that are testimonial cases, one versus one piece of testimony. i think we have the right standard in making a determination. we asked commanders to take note before they prefer a charge, charging instrument that we use, that simply asks them based on their personal knowledge or personal investigation of the case, do they believe, honestly believe the charges are true to the best of the knowledge and belief. that's the charging decision.
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and, and when those charges go forward to trial, at a later date, then we use prove beyond reasonable doubt, the very same standard that we use everywhere else in the nation. and it is reasonable that we will see a quintals, and we do. so i have a hard -- when you say the best example or model of how those decisions are made downtown, and put our model against that, we're every bit as good and in many cases better than that model. >> better will let other people decide, but it sounds to me, i'd like the others, what you're suggesting is you will charge more cases, even if the proof beyond a reasonable doubt standard is the same. you might charge more cases than a really good civilian prosecutor would. is that a fair assessment? and is that the current goal,
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that, not that you are -- maybe you'll teach the civilian prosecutors something. can you all help me with your thoughts? >> a couple of comments. i think that from our perspective, we care about cases being tried from both sides. we also don't have prosecutors running for reelection. they are defined by their duties. i think one of the challenges, when you look at a unanimous verdict, beyond a reasonable doubt, and a 12 member jury panel, and our world if you have eight votes, two-thirds majority you can get a conviction dreadful. now a lot of people think that when you for voting to acquit, that's a hard thing to get around when you have beyond a reasonable doubt standard. it also helps to define why some people may not understand defense that comes out, a member
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spell. because when for people had a reasonable doubt and voted to acquit, they're still part of that group. so there's a lot of factors in our system. there's also, the appellate in our system has broad fact-finding review. because of those issues. so when you start looking at all of the different control input, the thing that professor sullivan is talking about, your question, each one of these control input has ripples across our system, and it truly is a justice system. and i think when we calculate these things in, and we think about the rights of the victim, the institutional needs for good order and discipline so that we can be an effective fighting organization, we have to look at it in its entirety, consider it carefully. because the justice system is really something that, the sanctity of the system, as our commandant said, is a moral
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imperative for all of us. spent and if i could add one perspective to that as well. anecdotally, we do know we try more cases of a given evidence level in our civilian jurisdiction counterparts. we can show you that case. >> if you could supply that to me or to the commission. >> but the reality is that's because in part, americans moms and dads and as their sons and daughters and hold us to a higher standard. and we believe strongly that they have a right to a victim free, an environment free from such sexual assault and all that entails but it's part of our unique fabric. it's part of a specialized society apart from america where we have that commitment to good order and discipline that requires us to make certain decisions that perhaps you would say in a resource constrained environment you wouldn't make. >> if i may spent the last words. neither the secretary or the need or the chief of naval
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operations has told us to get more convictions. my mission is to ensure a fair and effective and efficient military justice system. and as mike pierce said, commanding officers are responsible for the safety, the welfare and the goodness within their command. they have difficult leadership decisions to make, and we provide an experience for advising and making them. they make those decisions case-by-case, and they in and day out on specifics facts and circumstances of each case. and they tried to do what's right in each case, not what's easy, not what's expedient and not what is a perception of what is expected of them. spent i want to thank all the panelists. this concludes our briefing but it's been extremely informative to all of us, and we appreciate not only your service but your participation today. and i know that there's veterans in the back of the audience, and we also want to acknowledge
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their service and their involvement in today's process. i also want to personally thank our commission staff who put this together. i didn't want to highlight vanessa iceman from our office of general counsel did a spectacular job of putting together a panel and this event today. thank you. i also want to acknowledge her staff and all that is responsible for bring us all together here today. their efforts really have contributed to this spectacular event. lastly i want to remind everyone that there is an opportunity to submit comments for the record. you can submit materials or public comments to us in one of two ways, either by mail at the u.s. commission on civil rights, office of the general counsel here at 1331 and sylvania avenue northwest, suite 1150, washington, d.c. 204 to five. or you can send it via e-mail to public comments at usc c.r..gov.
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we look forward to preparing the report and -- that's right. u-lite emotion you wanted to make. >> [inaudible] >> we keep the record open for an additional 15 days, given the level of public interest in the topic spend rather than 30 days we would have 45? >> forty-five. >> we have unanimous consent? so you actually have members of the public 45 days from today to submit your public comments, and we do look forward to preparing and sending our report for finance recommendations from what we've learned here today to the president and congress. thank you, and we adjourned this hearing. [inaudible conversations]
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>> coming up in a few minutes we will take you to the brookings institution here in washington where they're holding a forum on jobs, innovation and the economy. a series of panels will examine strategies and best practices to spur economic growth. and what role the private sector plays in all this. that will be live in just a few moments here on c-span2. on monday the president received recommendations from vice president biden's task force on gun control. president obama is expected to unveil his proposal as early as tomorrow. during the final news conference of his first term yesterday, the president responded to a question about the issue. >> i wanted to ask about gun violence. today marks the one year, our one month anniversary of the shooting at newtown which seems to generate some momentum for rinsing the assault weapons ban, but there's been fresh opposition to the banned from the nra and even harry reid has said that he questioned whether to pass congress.
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given that, how hard will you push for an assault weapons ban? and if one cannot pass congress, what other measures would need to be included in a broad package in order to curb violence? >> as i said, the vice president and a number of members of my cabinet went through a very thorough process over the last month, meeting with a lot of stakeholders in this, including the nra. listened to proposals from all quarters, and they presented me now with a list of sensible, commonsense steps that can be taken to make sure that the kind of violence we saw a new tab doesn't happen again. i'm going to meet with the vice president today. i expect to have a fuller presentation later in the week. to give people some specifics about what i think we need to do. my starting point is not to read about the politics. my starting point is to focus on
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what makes sense, what works. what should we be doing to make sure that our children are safe, and that we are reducing the incidence of gun violence. and i think we can do that in a sensible way, that comports with the second amendment. and then members of congress i think are going to have to have a debate and examine their own conscious. because if, in fact, and i believe this is true, everybody across party lines was as deeply moved and saddened as i was by what happened in newtown, then we are going to have to vote based on what we think is best. we are going to have to come up with answers that set politics aside. and that's what i expect congress to do. but i don't know what you can count on is that the things that i've said in the past, the belief that we have done stronger